Secret War, The Story of SOE, Britain’s Wartime Sabotage Organisation

The author has been described as the official historian to the British intelligence services and this book about the SOE provides a wealth of facts from a very shadowy organization. The evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk and Churchill replacing Chamberlain saw a new aggressive posture against the Germans and efforts to take the war to them in Occupied Europe and then the Balkans – Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Secret War, The Story of SOE, Britain's Wartime Sabotage Organisation
FILE: R2961
AUTHOR: Nigel West
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword, frontline
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War,  German 
Occupation, special forces, covert operations, airborne forces, paratroops, assault 
gliders, supply drops, civilians, D-Day, French Resistance, communist guerrillas, 
Free French, Gaulists, Balkans, Malaya, politics

ISBN: 1-52675-566-1

IMAGE: B2961.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/yxqhg7l2
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: The author has been described as the official historian to the British 
intelligence services and this book about the SOE provides a wealth of facts from a 
very shadowy organization. The evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk and 
Churchill replacing Chamberlain saw a new aggressive posture against the 
Germans and efforts to take the war to them in Occupied Europe and then the 
Balkans  –   Very Highly Recommended.

The story of the SOE has been told before but never with this level of authenticity. 
When the SOE was disbanded in 1946 a great many records were 'lost', some 
destroyed by SOE personnel, and some quickly moved into protective storage as 
Britain began to refocus on the Cold War. SOE had decided to back Communist 
guerrillas in France, the Balkans and Malaya and that created many problems, not 
least in France where the Gaulists began fighting the civil war they expected after 
liberation and saw Resistance Groups informing to the Germans on other Resistance 
Groups. In the process, many British agents were betrayed to the Germans and there 
was near war between British intelligence organizations.

The author presents a cogent review of the SOE, no punches pulled. A skilled and 
acclaimed writer on intelligence organizations, he makes maximum use of his 
experience. Apart from some map illustration, this is not an illustrated book but the 
words paint vivid pictures.

The jury is still out on whether the SOE contribution to the war effort was good or 
bad, overall, but a general consensus that it was naivety in the extreme. The 
leadership of SOE were utterly ruthless with their own people and in the many 
cover-ups. There was confusion about objectives and serious lack of co-operation 
with other intelligence services that had actually been carefully trained and deftly 
controlled. Many SOE agents were dropped into German hands before they could 
start on their assigned missions. The SOE gives a strong impression that it was a 
bunch of amateurs bumbling about in occupied territories with an almost complete 
lack of concern over casualty rates or the damage it was doing to other agencies and 
resistance groups.